When people who are unhappy, have low self-esteem, and generally feel “damaged” inside hurt you, your first response is probably to hurt them right back. I know that is my initial reaction as someone uses ugly, demeaning words against me in a pattern that is meant to make me feel bad. The words they use over and over again, throughout the years of my life are meant to belittle me and make me feel guilt or shame. They are in no way, shape, or form meant to uplift me, make me feel good about myself or build up my confidence. They are said for one reason and one reason only. To hurt me.
Once you recognize the pattern, it is time to find the trigger. When does this happen to you? Are you doing something particularly awful and foul or are you just trying to have a good time? Chances are, you are enjoying yourself and having a good time. That’s usually the trigger my friends. The thing is, you have probably tried to speak to them about this type of thing before, and how you are just doing your best to be happy in your own skin, live your life, and teach others how to do the same, but they actually don’t care about your feelings. It is quite evident in the repeated behavior pattern.
Hurt people hurt people. We are not being judgmental by separating ourselves from such people. But we should do so with compassion. Compassion is defined as a “keen awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a desire to see it relieved.” People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren’t bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person. ~Will Bowen
How in the hell do you separate yourself, with compassion mind you, from someone trying to hurt you? That’s a tall order right there. I have decided to narrow it down to 5 ways these people are projecting their feelings and give you a bit of advice around that behavior.
5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope):
- Hurt people take it out on those who are often closest to them. Why? There are lots of reasons, but the easiest answer here is because they think you will either let it slide (multiple times, even if you have asked them to stop) or because they think you will forgive them over and over again. How do you cope? Quite honestly, it’s easier to put space between you and build up stronger boundaries than to get them to ever admit when they are wrong. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. They are transferring either some rage they have onto you or feel jealous about something you have. See it for what it is. Take the pause here if you can.
- Hurt people see every word, or action, as something that was done TO them. Not for them, not to help, but done to lash out through their narrow vision of pain haze. Why? They are not rational and think that everyone is “out to get them”. Everything is a trap and meant to set them up in some way. If you don’t answer the door fast enough, you might be avoiding them. If you suggest they eat healthier, you might have just implied they are Jabba the Hutt. If you say you like something they are wearing, that might have meant you don’t like how they look normally. I can go on and on around this, but you are already nodding your head. How do you cope? You become a Mime. Just kidding. You’d probably mime the middle finger accidentally of course. Resist the urge though. Try very hard to put yourself in their shoes. What do you know about their life right now? What do you know about how they were raised? Is there a reason for this type of distrust? If we act as they do, it will only cause more pain in the end. It takes massive strength to step back and remind yourself their actions and reactions are all about them. Not about you at all.
- Hurt people often have no real life beyond the hurt. Why? They have alienated the people who once tried to help them. They carry grudges so deep and so wide, that the Grand Canyon is jealous of them. Remember Ebenezer Scrooge? When his nephew tries to invite him over and then later he is peeking through with the Ghost of Christmas Present, but they are saying how they feel sorry for him. It’s just like that. Only this person presumably doesn’t have the ghosts to show them what the future will look like if they don’t stop pushing people away. How do you cope? Recognize that their reaction to pushing people away stems from preconceived notions they firmly believe as truth. The mind has a funny way of remembering things. You might extend the olive branch if they are dear to you and know that they will not change. It is up to you to be the peace maker.
- Hurt people are always the ones who are the victim. Why? You have seen them never take responsibility for anything in their own lives over the many years of being around them. They want short cuts, easy ways out, and no responsibility. They know what they need to do, but they don’t really feel like it. They are almost certain it is the responsibility of someone else to come save them from their mistakes. How do you cope? Don’t enable if you can. To enable means that you give their thoughts power or you help them self-sabotage. Simply say nothing if they say they “can’t” do something. It’s better than agreeing with it. I mean, to point out that Helen Keller earned a college degree, Stephen Hawking beat his life expectancy against ALS, is still alive, and one of the world’s leading physicists, and my personal hero, Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, but later taught himself how to skateboard and surf, to point these things out would fall on deaf ears. They rationalize their actions and their victim mentality until they decide, not us, that they are ready to change it.
- Hurt people don’t recognize your pain. To say these people lack empathy is an understatement. They simply fail to see that they are hurting you. Why? Any number of reasons, but they like to medicate themselves, drink excessively, or become addicted to false lives. They don’t seem to be fully present as they continually hurt you. How do you cope? If you have read all this and you think it’s time to try to have the courageous conversation with them, you can. If you have already had that conversation and the behavior is still going on, then you might want to meditate, do yoga, and surround yourself with others who lift you up after being in contact with these people. When all else fails and you have tried your best, perhaps even going to therapy for you, not them, you get to decide if the contact is worth the pain it is causing you. Their own self-loathing behavior is constantly being projected at you and your loved ones and it’s time for you to either make peace with the idea that you can’t change them…so give yourself lots of space.
The bottom line is that this is someone who is not at peace with themselves or their relationships. They cause suffering because they aren’t able to cope with their own emotions. Do they need therapy? Yes. But chances are, they are not going to do the work on themselves. When we do the work on ourselves, our own inner work, we start to heal these deep wounds. I know how hard this is my friends, and if you need support and want to work on your own “stuff”, come see me. >> Learn more here <<
Life is always changing…yet inwardly, we resist. Do you find change to be a scary process? Especially if you are trying to harness inner change? I know that at times, I do. I am facing something right now that could be a very simple change, yet I am finding it hard to consider.
Moving. Changing addresses. I feel like that is a really hard thing for many people. It’s just a house, right? No. Not to many people. It’s memories, feelings, neighbors and more. So why the resistance to change?
Resistance can show itself in many ways.
The “what ifs” start to surface. It is this area of uncertainty that drives us mad. We know the reality we are living in, correct. We don’t know this scary possibility over here. So let’s just stay in the reality we know.
We have no control over the change. It’s like this, does the caterpillar start to freak out as soon as it goes in the cocoon? Everything happens as it should once it gets in there…and then the butterfly emerges and flies merrily away. None the wiser I suspect about all the little close calls it might have faced while in that cocoon. But we start to question what will happen as we set this in motion..never stopping to think that it could just take its natural course and everything will turn out the way it should…or maybe always was going to anyway no matter what we did.
Nothing looks familiar over here! I went to sleep thinking about the possibility of a new house. Insert whatever you are thinking of here. I have a little routine down right now and it works wonderfully. What if my routine is interrupted? What if moving messes up my business for a bit as I get settled (I work from home). I need to remember the important things, and the things that are going to take some time getting used to. Not focus so much on all the differences.
3 Ways to Harness Inner Change
- Get very clear on why you are even considering this change in the first place. What are the benefits of doing something new, taking a new job, moving, making new friends or doing something that you might consider equally scary right now? Do you have support should you wish to make a change? A sounding board that really has no vested interest in your decision other than for you to be happy? If not, consider joining us in my closed group, <<< but you really do need supportive people around you.
- Uncover the block to this change. This one is really a big step. If you haven’t journaled around this idea, might I suggest drawing a giant boulder in the center of a page, and then putting all the reasons around this “block” until you have exhausted this, and honing in on the one reason you really think might be the biggest block of all. It will probably stem from fear, but you do the work and see if that is where it leads you.
- Don’t give up. If the change is scary, worth it, and you know you can do it, make it your mission to succeed. Put reminders everywhere (fridge if it’s food related, mirror for self-esteem, on the scale if you are wanting to lose weight, etc.), and affirm to yourself that this inner change is worth a few months of discomfort if it is what you truly want. New thought patterns can be created, and soon those new patterns will become your fall back. The old paths will become overgrown, and you will feel much better for making that commitment to yourself as you learn to harness inner change.
Here comes the part where you really get real with yourself. Is this inner change worth the discomfort? Yes as long as it is within your alignment of what you want for path. Breathe in and take 3 deep breaths. Imagine this change has already happened and everything went well. How do you feel now? You have your answer.
For more monthly guidance on getting out of your head, aligning with your heart and helping your overall health, join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.
The news is depressing. Your feed is depressing. The world feels…well depressing right now. It’s like a wet cloak…on a cold day. You know you need to shrug it off to get warm, but where can you go to find warmth?
You look around to the chaos that is out there and you just don’t know where to go. I’ll admit that I was like this for a very long time. Then one day, I really have no idea what changed, but I decided I had enough. I decided to say one positive quote a day to all my friends on social media. Then I decided to blog.
If you use the search button with the drop-down of months and you go back a few years to the beginning, you will likely “read” me in a whole different way. I was diagnosed with secondary depression after getting a bunch of invisible diseases...that had no cure. Note, that word links to a search on the term “invisible diseases” so you can read my raw, angry, old posts.
I never delete a blog post though…as I want you to be able to see my progression with not only my health, but my feelings. As I started to practice focusing on the positives in my life, my life started to change.
I had been stuck, and was slowly, miraculously, getting UNSTUCK in all areas of my life. I started being able to move again without pain…which was amazing. I started my yoga teacher journey, which was painful in the beginning yet extraordinary in the fact that I was able to complete 200 hours of Vinyasa Yoga Teach Training. Me. Me who had hardly been able to move.
I started being asked to do important work…work that I had always wanted to do like to speak in London. I wanted to change people’s lives after learning that I could truly move forward in life.
So what changed?
- Me. I had to get to rock bottom. It sucked there. Quite simply put it was like hell. But one of my favorite quotes always said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” and I believe ole’ Churchill was right.
- I had to tame my thoughts. Erm mah gosh y’all. My mind was like a mess. A hot mess…except I was cold all the time, but you get the picture. Thoughts create stress, and then the spiral starts. I wasn’t sure if I was anxious or depressed. So I did what I do best and wrote about it all to help others.
- I started writing more…because that’s what I do best. I found out how therapeutic writing was and how it changes the thought patterns. Releases stress and lets you clear your mind. It literally became an itch in the night on nights the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep. I would write it out.
- I learned to be grateful. I am never the same person year after year, and for that I am thankful. Gratitude in the little things was so important to me. It helped calm the mind and turn my emotions into a point on which to focus. The pain was no longer the focus. The present moment was.
- My well-being changed. There are still days I need reminders. No one is perfect, okay? But I practice this constant state of being more mindful than I was on say an off day. Being more grateful or more appreciative.
- Old me got angry really fast…gratitude helped me slow down my emotions. I am not going to pretend that the Scorpio doesn’t still have her moments; however, I use my sensitive side to tap into the world. I feel what’s going on, like in slow motion, under the surface, and think about what I can be learning in this situation. What can I be thankful for? Sometimes, it’s things like “I am thankful I have yoga.” But whatever it is, I use it in my head because maybe the other person doesn’t have this kind of support or system and really just needs my compassion at that moment.
- Surround yourself with what you want to become…became my mantra. My quote. That I use daily. It was so important to me to be able to offer that gift to others that I recently completed my course on using gratitude to shape your life and would love it if you are interested in joining the journey. For the E-book only, click this link.
Ultimately, we are on this earth for a short while and I believe I was put here to help others wake up to the fact that we really do have the power to say this is not how my story is going to go. The truth is, gratitude can move you forward in life and make the unbearable things more bearable. While increasing your level of gratitude you are actually increasing your health and wellness. You are learning to change your self-talk and that’s a powerful thing. I hope to see you in my group soon. Thank you so much for reading!